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February 6, 2014

RCMP, Police Launch Distracted Driving Campaign for February

Drivers beware. RCMP and police across the province have launched a distracted driving campaign for February.

The penalties remain the same. Drivers caught using an electronic device will pay a fine of $167. Drivers who text or email while driving will also receive three driver penalty points.

Drivers in the Graduated Licence Program may not use any electronic device – not even a hands-free device. Doing so will earn them the $167 fine and three points on their record.

“Distracted driving is creeping up to be the number 1 cause of accidents,” said a representative from the RCMP’s Traffic Services. “It could be cell phones, eating or reading, anything that takes the attention of the driver away from driving a vehicle.”

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Distracted driving collision fatalities across BC in 2013.

Police say 40,000 violation tickets were issued to drivers in 2013 for use of an electronic device or driving without due care and attention. Despite the enforcement, a quarter of all collision fatalities across the province were caused by distracted drivers.

An average of 91 people die each year in BC because of distracted driving, including 31 in the Lower Mainland, 12 in the North, 34 in the Southeast and 14 on Vancouver Island.

Enforcement is expected to ramp up mid-month. It’s time to put your phone down while driving. No message is more important than someone’s life.

A clever animation on distracted driving…

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